NHS provides quality healthcare people deserve

I was dismayed to read the article (Barking and Dagenham Post, 1 April 2009) regarding the new Porters Avenue Health Centre, which was described as Dagenham s new polyclinic and unethical by Dr Saibel De from the Gables Surgery. Dr De is entitled to

I was dismayed to read the article (Barking and Dagenham Post, 1 April 2009) regarding the new Porters Avenue Health Centre, which was described as 'Dagenham's new polyclinic' and 'unethical' by Dr Saibel De from the Gables Surgery.

Dr De is entitled to express his opinion, but in this case he has simply got the facts wrong.

Porters Avenue is not a polyclinic. It is a new, purpose-built health centre which houses a range of different services, geared in the main towards offering specialist support to people living with long term conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Also located within this health centre is a brand-new GP practice.

Building Porters Avenue was part of a broader premises development strategy to improve the fabric of healthcare buildings in the borough.


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Also recently opening to patients, the Child and Family Centre in Barking is a similarly large health centre with a brand-new GP practice, but which also houses a range of services for families and children.

We consulted with local people specifically on the development of these and other new health service sites and also more generally on what they wanted to see in their GP practice.

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Their views informed our strategy.

For a long time, Barking and Dagenham had one of the worst ratios of GPs to patients in the country; we are now turning this around. Having two new GP practices in the borough is an important contribution to making all the health services better for local people.

As well as improving the buildings and facilities, NHS Barking and Dagenham is increasing the numbers of GPs and GP practices in the borough, along with extending the range of opening hours.

New GP practices, like Porters Avenue and the Child and Family Centre, provide real choice for patients, offering access to a GP from 8am to 8pm, Monday through to Saturday.

It's top quality healthcare; it's what Barking and Dagenham residents have told us they want; and we think it's what they deserve.

Stephen Langford

Chief Executive of NHS

Barking and Dagenham

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